Marion County Sheriff's Office Granted More Money for Cars
Published January 7th, 2014
On a day in which drivers are relying on their cars to function despite frigid conditions, some sheriff deputies may want to renew their Triple A membership.
The Marion County Sheriff says more than 67% of his vehicles have 100,000 miles or more.
He didn't get all the money he wanted for new cars last year, but he got a few extra dollars today.
"We are in a desperate need of vehicles," said Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair.
Sheriff Blair went back the Marion County Commission Tuesday.
The same commission that denied him most of the $17 million he wanted for new patrol vehicles, more manpower and a better starting wage for his deputies.
This time, he asked for about $316,000 left over from last year's budget to outfit the 34 new cars they were able to buy.
And it was granted.
"We're moving forward and we'll outfit those cars as soon as possible," said Sheriff Blair.
"Today, we finally approved the remainder of the money so that he can put the vehicles that he has been able to purchase out on the street," said Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant.
But Sheriff Blair says this still doesn't solve his problem.
More than 67% his patrol cars have more than 100,000 miles on them.
"We need many, many more patrol vehicles to actually be able to provide the correct services to the citizens of Marion County," said Sheriff Blair.
Blair says his patrol cars run continuously, maximizing the wear and tear on the engines.
Recent posts on the Marion County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page show cars just shutting down during shifts and one even blowing a radiator hose during a traffic stop, stranding the deputy on I-75 for several hours.
"There's somebody out there that need a deputy sheriff to respond to get there for help and here we can't guarantee that? I have an issue with that," said Sheriff Blair.
Commissioners said approving Sheriff's Blair's budget would mean a hike in taxes.
So this will have to do for now.
"Hopefully, he will be able to put these new vehicles on the road now and this will solve their issues," said Bryant.
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